St. Elmo’s Fire is a quintessential brat pack, college film. Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelso and Emilia Estevez star as the pining, young, confused dude-bros. Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, and Mare Winningham star as the disillusioned and discontent ladies. The 1985 film follows the aforementioned coeds as they navigate life after recently graduating from Georgetown University.
St. Elmo’s Fire refers to the gang’s favorite bar St. Elmo and also to the term “St. Elmo’s Fire” which Wikipedia describes as, “a weather phenomenon in which luminous plasma is created by a coronal discharge from a sharp or pointed object in a strong electric field in the atmosphere.” Essentially, this describes a situation in which lightning (or something similar to it) appears in the absence of a storm or volcanic eruption.
I guess this is a metaphor for the rather dramatic and grim circumstances the characters’ believe they are in when in actuality their problems aren’t so grave and thus, mere illusions of a “storm” or crisis. Everyone in the group of friends is in love with the person they’re not supposed to be in love with and each of them is heading on a different career path whether that be business or artistic. Andrew McCarthy steals the show for me by being a sad, writer who says deep things and by looking cool smoking cigarettes while having sparkly eyeballs. However, Rob Lowe’s hair and one earring are a force to be reckoned with. St. Elmo’s Fire can teach us all plenty about what it’s like to be a recent grad.